A ping is a series of information packets sent from one computer to another over the Internet. The purpose of a ping is to see whether a computer is connected to the Internet. Along with confirming a computer's existence, a ping tells you how long it took for those packets to make the trip there and back. When playing games online, a low ping rate (commonly called simply "low ping") is essential. If it's just a little too high --- that is, if a delay intervenes between the sending and receiving of messages your computer sends to and receives from the network hosting the multiplayer gameplay data --- it can ruin your gaming experience. You can take steps to improve your ping. Some are simple and free, but others are drastic and expensive.
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Avoid using wireless connections when possible. You can set your Wi-Fi router next to your computer or console, but a wired connection will still be stronger. If you can, plug directly into your modem.
Close all unneeded programs and tasks. Background programs can hog system resources, hurting your ping in the process. When gaming, you want as few programs and tasks running as possible.If you don't know what's safe to close, try using programs like GBoost, GameGain and Game Booster, which automatically shut down unneeded tasks.
Scan for viruses and malware. Viruses and malware sit in the background, hogging precious memory --- among other things. To make things worse, you usually have no clue that it's even going on. Regularly run full system scans for viruses and malware to help keep your ping low.
Upgrade your computer. Even if your connection is fast, slow computer components can affect your ping. If your graphics card can't handle your desired framerate, or if you don't have enough RAM (system memory), your ping will suffer. You can try upgrading only your RAM and your video card as a temporary solution, but eventually you'll probably need a new computer.
Upgrade your Internet connection. For some people's purposes, cable and DSL modems just won't hack it. If you're one of these people, consider upgrading to a T1 or T3 connection. Doing so is expensive, but will deliver the speed you need.
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